HOWEVER, I believe that there is still a minimum standard we can apply to everyone - the least we can do, if you will. In a polite society, that means being... polite. That means being even-handed and fair in our assessments, even if we are keeping a higher-than-average set of expectations. Nothing wrong with raising the bar. There is an unavoidable peril we invite upon ourselves when we give one person a pass for something that we revile another for. We lose the moral high ground, the dais upon which we pontificate from is diminished with every hypocritical statement, until our words no longer carry the weight necessary to roll down an ever-decreasing incline to our audience.
That is what is happening in Washington, D.C. right now. Has been for years, of course, but recent events have hastened the leveling of that shining city on the hill, leaving no more than a shanty town - a movie set, whose walls are perilously close to collapsing in the next stiff breeze. "Rock Ridge East," one might say.
|What gave it away? Was it the shrubbery?|
It's absolutely maddening. Every day the already impossibly low bar is somehow lowered. What would have been unacceptable behavior for the previous president or administration is now even more laughable than it was yesterday, than it was the day before that, which was more ludicrous than we could imagine last week, which was in turn unthinkable last month, and so on. All made possible by power-mad politicians, lobbyists, special interests, and a system that rewards underhandedness, thievery, and outright lies. This has been building for years, decades even, sometimes with small steps, other times leaps. Representative democracy has taken body blow after body blow, from those sworn to uphold the Constitution. Citizen's United equaled Corporations Untied, seeming to guarantee that the more money you had at your disposal to throw at different congresspersons and issues the more say you were going to have in the laws that shape our landscape for all. Let's not fool ourselves by pretending that our government hadn't been bought and paid for long before that bewildering decision by the Supreme Court. That case simply cemented the blocks that were already in place, made them larger and more difficult to overcome.
But I digress. We're discussing civility and manners, fairness and culpability. Where are the heroes of democracy, willing to stand up to those who would taint, undermine, or outright seek to destroy the idea of America? The GOP controlled Senate broke with all form of rationale by refusing to consider candidates for a vacant Supreme Court seat because... well, it doesn't matter what excuse they used. It was bullshit. I cannot even imagine the ballyhoo should the situation have been reversed, from all corners of Conservative World. There would have been talk of revolt and armed insurrection. Come to think of it, it would have been quite like what we were fearing would happen when Trump inevitably lost the election. And then he didn't. All the talk about how the voting process was rigged, how there was no way "they" would "let" him win... forgotten in the blink of a collective eye. Now anyone questioning the system, the process, the establishment, the outcome - they were just sore losers. Hypocritical much? Yes. Yes indeed.
And now daily there are actual threats to our way of life, our beloved Constitution (much more serious threats than those to the Second Amendment) and to the rule of law. And those empowered by us to curtail those impulses, to stop those attacks, to censure or remove from office those who are responsible? They do nothing. After all, it's THEIR GUY. This piece of garbage masquerading as a President, who most of them were appalled by (or so they said) in the primary season? Now he's THEIR GUY. They own him. They're hitching their wagons to his team of horses, even though none of his horses can get security clearance. What a sham. If there is any justice in this world they'll all go down with him when he goes, because all who stand by and say nothing are culpable. All who defend the daily atrocities committed against our system of government, and law and order, and accountability, and transparency, are culpable. They should be tried as accessories to the murder of American democracy.
We can change this though. There is a simple litmus test to determine if your criticisms should remain unspoken, unwritten, untweeted: If you wouldn't mind if YOUR guy was doing it, then KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Simple. If it wasn't okay for Obama to reach out to North Korea, to try to engage them in talks, then it's not okay for Trump. If it wouldn't be fine for Obama to congratulate a murderous dictator on his recent election "win" then it's not okay for Trump. If it wasn't okay for Obama to golf on occasion, then it's not okay for Trump to do it one to three times a week. If it wasn't okay for Bill Clinton to have a cigar with Monica, then it's not okay for Trump to cheat on his wives - all of them - with anyone, much less a porn star or two. This isn't that hard, folks. I'll be hyper critical of your guy, but anything I go after him for I am going to hold my own guy to as well. I still find it ludicrous the type of thing that right-wing media would trash Obama for (tan suit, the "wrong" kind of mustard on his burger, etc.) but I understand that it was difficult for them to find anything of substance to go after. The petulant child that's currently sullying the Oval Office isn't treated more unfairly, it's just that he offers soooooooooooooooooooo many things to denigrate him for that it's a never-ending litany. Trump apologists must understand that one expects more negative press for Stalin than for Gandhi, though there will always be folks like Tucker Carlson who would find the latter's sanctimonious fasting something to deride.
I guess the Colluder in Chief finally stepped on a nerve over the weekend when he started trashing (Republican) Robert Mueller and the Special Counsel investigating his many misdeeds. A few previously silent officials on the red side of the aisle came out with warnings not to mess with Mueller. Jesus, guys. Too little too late. Quite probably the only reason they've decided to make a stand now is the recent pummeling they've taken at the polls, coupled with their inability to move the bar lower. Assuming Mueller is afforded the luxury of completing his investigation there will be a lot of rats trying to leave the sinking Trumptanic at the last minute. Here's hoping that aeration takes them all to Davy Jones' Locker anyway.